My Favorite Christopher Wool Picture

Sotheby’s is having a huge Contemporary Art auction tonight – you can watch it live online.  The Rothko (White Center 1950) is unbelievable.  Sotheby’s minimum price guarantee to David Rockefeller (owner of White Center) is $46m (Rockefeller paid less than $10,000 for it in 1960.)  Now that’s “art investing.”

My favorite picture in the auction is Christopher Wool’s FUCKEM.


Way out of my league, but fun to fantasize.  I used to call these things “paintings”, but it seems to be in vogue to call them “pictures”, so I’ll give it a try.

  • I realize I’m not the most cultural person, but I still find it hard to believe that the Christopher Wool “picture” could fetch 700k. I’m sure it will from someone who would appreciate it more than I, but I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

  • I think a lot of it has to do with the context in which that work was created. This “picture” is one of those things that anyone could do, and it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing thing you could make, but Wool was the first to make art like this, and he became a big name because of pieces like this. Private art collectors aren’t a thrifty bunch, and there’s a lot of prestige to be had from owning something instantly identifiable like this or a Rothko or a Pollock or a Mondrian.

    It could, though, also be that some people just have a strong fascination with a certain 4-letter word, right Mr. Feld?

    I do really like the irony of a “Fuckem if they can’t take a joke” picture selling for such an obscene amount of money.

  • Profanity is the common crutch of the conversational cripple – David Keuck

    In this case it is is both above and a joke on us public, who need to make excuses that it is all “art”. Sometimes it may just be a drunken artist playing a joke on us and laughing all the way to the bank in the process!

  • Karl Kister

    The painting sold for $1,160,000.

    There’s a lot more going on in this picture than a joke or the artist laughing all the way to the bank. The artist wasn’t going to the bank much when he started working like this – painting text

  • Kaycee

    I completely understand why someone would want to pay so much money for a piece for their private art collection. However, what I cannot understand is how someone could be so selfish! Art belongs in the public sphere, and I highly doubt anyone would pay 70 million + for a Rothko just to donate it to a museum…not fair.

    And I don’t even want to know how much private firms conducting these auctions is raking in (see:

  • Bruce


    I can think of plenty of Paintings Curators in the art museum world, but nary a Pictures Curator…

  • Ralph Clark

    Hey Brad-

    I love art as well and collect mostly African American art from the WPA era. We do have a couple of contemporary pieces as well like Mark Greenfield a LA based artist.

    He uses a eye chart metaphor to imbed in your face messages overlaying ministrel images. Very emotional conflicting things at work in his art. We love it. The ministrel images push you away as they are images we are not comfortable looking at…but at the same time the eye chart makes you look at the piece because you are trained to look at an eye chart. It is what art is about to me connecting with my emotions and challenging convential wisdom.

    Thought you might enjoy this link


  • bertignac

    Wool never worked in a tiny space
    he had a huge loft from day one